Travel Hero Veerle Witte

Veerle Witte - travel hero Cherry LAB

Cherry LAB’s passion for time well spent goes beyond boundaries! We are not only inspired by our own experiences, favorite gadgets and special places. Our inspiration is also stimulated by the unique stories of other globetrotters and people with a mission. That’s why we put a new Hero in the spotlight once in a while. These are heroes from all over the world and of course from our own country. Maybe you are next!

For years, she has been traveling around the world as a digital nomad for the travel magazine National Geographic Traveler, founded the platform Travel Diaries in 2014 on which you can keep an online diary of photo’s and route maps ánd she recently started her new blog Travel Better about the relevance of sustainable travel. For us enough reasons to shine a light on power woman and adventurer Veerle Witte as a Travel Hero. Curious about her story? Read along!

1. What makes you a true hero?

Since June 2014, I travel around the world as a digital nomad for National Geographic Traveler. With that, I slowly became a more familiar face within the travel branch. Besides my work as a freelance travel journalist, I’m probably also known as the founer of the platform Travel Diaries, a web-application where travelers can compose, share and print a diary of their trips. Recently I launched a new blog on sustainable travel: Travel Better. To fill this blog with stories, I’m traveling the world right now. During this trip I also write a weekly story for the website of National Geographic in the section ‘The world according to Witte’.

2.What’s driving you and your success? What do you want to achieve?

I invented Travel Diaries a long time ago, when I went on a world trip through South America. I wanted to keep an online diary where I could add photo’s and route maps to share with friends and family and from which I could order a printed copy afterwards. When I found out there was no such thing yet, I wrote a business plan, applied for credit and hired a team to build the software. In June 2014, the website launched.

The idea for Travel Better originated in 2017. Through one of the journeys I did for National Geographic, I came in contact with the cool sustainable projects and saw what damage tourism can do at the same time. My interest in sustainable travel grew and I noticed there was no travel blog that focused only on sustainable travel yet. That’s how everything came together and I decided to create Travel Better

Veerle Witte - travel hero Cherry LAB

3. What is the highlight of your career so far?

I have several: the launch of Travel Diaries – which cost me blood, sweat and tears (ok no blood) – my start at National Geographic as digital nomad and my first publication in the magazine of National Geographic Traveler. It’s good to see hard work and high quality ultimately pays off.

4.What can we expect from you anytime soon?

In 2018, I will be traveling a lot. Until June, I visit Mauritius, Réunion, South Africa, Botswana, New Zealand, Polynesia and Indonesia. Destinations that I hope to discover in a conscious way, with attention to nature conservation, animal protection and sustainable tourism. Every week, a new blog about these adventures appears on the website of National Geographic and I also try to blog as much as possible for Travel Better. In June, I will return to Europe for a digital-nomad assignment. Whether I will continue to travel afterwards, I don’t know yet. The second half of 2018 is a surprise for everyone, including myself.

5.To top off: what is your ultimate tip for other people in order to travel with more purpose?

Take your time while traveling. Respect nature, animals, and locals and get to know them. Don’t try to tick off all highlights of a destination one by one, but go on an adventure and seek for the less-travelled paths. This is how I experience the most beautiful moments during my trip.

Follow Veerle’s trip live on Instagram!

Veerle Witte - travel hero Cherry LAB